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Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Survivors Teach Important Lessons

The massive earthquake that shook Haiti one week ago, did not shake the faith of the people who live in this impoverished Caribbean nation. Some estimates predict the death toll may eventually reach 200,000. The disaster buried thousands upon thousands under tons of collapsed buildings. For nearly the entire first week after the quake, Haitian survivors endured with little or no water, food or medical care in the blistering tropical heat. I can only imagine the unspeakable agony of the suffering victims as they laid helpless on the dirt ground or as they dug with their bare hands in a valiant search for loved ones.

As I watch this heartwrenching human drama unfold from the comfort of my living room, I am awed and deeply moved by the astonishing spirituality, humility and courage of the Haitian people who have survived. It is only one week into the tragedy, yet out of the chaos, several images captured by TV cameras stick in my mind:
      The rescue of a woman who was totally buried under several floors of concrete for SIX days...only to be found by the persistence of her husband. The first thing she did after rescuers finally pulled her out was sing. On the stretcher, covered in dust and debris, she lifted her voice in lyrical praise to the Lord with a song of rejoicing.
      Survivors marching in spontaneous procession down a rubble strewn street, their arms uplifted and joyously...yes, joyously, chanting and praising God.
      A young woman pulled from mountains of concrete...her leg amputated in order to save her, calmly tells relatives: "Don't cry for me. Pray for those who didn't make it."
      Signs of life: a bustling street market with vendors selling a smattering of fruits and vegetables. The first steps in returning to some semblance of normal routine.
      Sunday Mass at an undamaged church..hundreds of parishioners in their Sunday best, most of whom have lost everything in the quake...attend Mass and celebrate their survival by clapping and singing.

In this catastrophe beyond measure, the global community can learn much from the passionate resolve of the Haitian people. They are deeply religious. Their faith is woven into the fabric of their life and those threads of faith are what they cling to in this tragedy. Instead of feeling abandoned by God, many Haitians say the quake has strengthened their religious fervor. They do not blame God. Instead they seek refuge in their faith and are thankful to be alive.

I am struck by the incredible inner joy of these long-suffering and devout people. Their devotion to God, their sense of gratitude, their optimism about life in the face of extreme hardship is a testament to their resilient spirit and persevering nature. Even in their darkest hour, the people of Haiti are teaching the world the power of faith, hope and love. Sphere: Related Content

14 comments:

K.R. said...

I totally agree with your comments. We in rich America can learn a lot from the Haitian people

M-Cat said...

Great post and a huge AMEN

gondreauonline said...

Thank you for the beautifully written post on the Haitian human spirit amid a horrific catastrophe and how they continue to praise God. I find all their love and joy amazing.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Thank you for capturing so eloquently thes beautiful, inspirational people.
Robyn

Sarah said...

what's maddening is the several million dollars of aid couldn't get to people because of some infrastructure bottleneck. aaargh!

Kelly Howard said...

These people made a pact with the devil for the last 200 years and hopefully it is finally broken. Look it up! I'm not trying to be pessimistic by any means, but they have been FAR from Godly people/nation. And that is documented fact...

Oklahoma Granny said...

Boomer, Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and flattering me by even becoming a follower! Of course I had to come right over, thank you, and visit and look around awhile. You can count on me dropping by often.

In light of the 2nd earthquake that occurred today in Haiti, I ask you and all of your readers to pray with me for all involved - not only those who it directly impacted but famiy and friends around the world.

Again, it is very nice meeting you and I'll see you soon.

Blessings to you and yours!

Kelly Howard said...

As a second reply...I hope I didn't offend you with my comment. Your blog is just precious and I wish to be welcome here!

Diney said...

Heart warming news this morning with the 11 year old being pulled alive from the rubble. Thanks for calling into my blog and I'm following you too - that's a good thing by the way (it sounds like a stalker when I read it back!!)

Brenda Grolle said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and inviting me here! What a beautiful heartfelt post. And I love the text at the top of your blog - I did read it all.

I'm following you now and I must say that I like your rap videos. So true.

J.P. Travis said...

By passing on these inspirational moments here on your blog, you multiply the inspiration. I hand't seen any of these stories. Thanks.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Just reading thru these comments, BP. It's not my place, but I'm going to say to Kelly: there is a difference between a people and a corrupt leadership/gov't that they were so unfortunate as to have been borne into. Were your 'blame the victim' stance the way of the world, most human beings would deserve to have their lives destroyed by horrid disasters like this..?! I find this offensive and completely off-base with BP's beautiful post (not to mention being a good Christian).
Robyn

Boomer Pie said...

RawknRobin: Thank you for your astute remarks. I am glad you expressed yourself. I did read Kelly's comments very carefully and decided to publish them even tho they are contrary to my views. All views are welcome here even contrary opinions. Kelly's comments whether we agree or not, are provacative. I'm not going to judge Kelly for her stance because I do want her to feel welcome here. But I do think the Haiti disaster should cause us all to be less judgmental and much more compassionate. As I said in an earlier post, we should not ask WHY? but simply act humanely. Instead of blaming the victims, we need to be helping them...if for no other reason than out of love for our fellow man and because it's the right thing to do.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Absolutely, BP. Striving for increasing fairness, compassion, etc..you express and model it all (with a sense of humour to boot). I fully agree, too, that the blogosphere should be a place for free discourse. What a blessed privilege in and of itself!

Thanks for your visit today; another successful blind date story is a pick-me-up. That would've been better use of the hot chocolate too.

Cheers,
Robyn

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